The Seattle Seahawks. Just hearing their name should cause an immediate response: you either love them or you hate them. Even when I could not differentiate between the Seahawks and the Eagles, I was able to guess who the Seahawks were based on people’s reactions. They are the team you love to hate, yet being an observer to their slow and painful downfall, you cannot help but feel that the end of an era is approaching.
We all know about the Seahawks—correction, we all know about the Pete Carroll/Russell Wilson Seattle Seahawks—who have gone to the playoffs each year since 2011 (they did not make it last year but by a slim margin) and who won a Super Bowl in 2013. During these years is when I first felt the animosity toward the team, and keep in mind, I am from Washington state. You would think the hometown crowd would adore its team to all extremes, but that has not been the case for Seattle. Since first dominating teams in 2012, the growth of Seahawk-haters has risen. Why is that? Much like the New England Patriots, they are the team you love to hate. This being said, no one can deny their brilliance on the field. For Seattle, having a third-round quarterback start their games was a risky decision, yet one that has surely been the franchise’s best move. However, in my opinion, this is where the animosity started for the team. When I asked my brothers why they dislike the Seahawks, they claimed “just because,” but of course that cannot be all. Maybe it was due to the fans, which, even I agree can be a little overbearing at times. Or maybe it was the cockiness that comes with Seattle players, which makes them feel entitled, particularly in the defensive players. Whatever the reason may be, the excellence Seattle has produced defensively is unlike any other. However, with all good things, we know an end is to follow, and for Seattle, that end seems to be approaching.
The Seahawks of the 2013 Super Bowl are pretty much gone—some have retired, others traded, others onto different endeavors. Yet no one feels this loss more than Seattle’s defense, or the “Legion of Boom.” Having lost a majority of their key players over the summer, the only members of the Legion that remain are Earl Thomas and Bobby Wagner. The dynamic defense was huge for Seattle—ranking as the first overall defense in 2013 and completely terrifying the Broncos during that year’s Super Bowl. Now that the team is without these key players, we are seeing a shift in how the team operates. No longer does Seattle have the intensity from the cornerback position as it once had with Richard Sherman, nor is the defensive line as intimidating without Michael Bennett. So where does the team go from here? That is not an easy question to answer, but to put myself in Pete Carroll’s position, he would say to “move on” while chewing some gum way too viciously.
The end of an era is coming for the Seattle offense as well. While Seattle has not really been known for its offense, who can forget the explosive runs of Marshawn Lynch or Russell Wilson’s 20-yard scrambles? That is not to say these plays are long gone, especially for Wilson who is still very much dangerous (or should I say “dangeRuss”). However, behind a weak offensive line that does not protect Wilson or allow an effective run game, Seattle’s struggles continue. The run game is what Seattle is typically known for and with up-and-coming running backs like Chris Carson who took over after Thomas Rawls last year or 2018’s first-round draft pick, Rashaad Penny, Seattle has the pieces in play to be explosive offensively if only for the offensive line. While Seattle had luck behind a forceful defense in recent years, most of those players are gone, leaving the offense to step it up, which it has yet to do.
Thus, as the team heads off against the Dallas Cowboys in a Week 3 matchup, one hopes to see a spark ignite in the Seahawks—whether you love or hate them. Nothing drives the NFL more than competition among teams, and in the NFC West division, we hope for a team that can give the Los Angeles Rams a fight. Seattle will not have it easy from here on out, but as a fan, all I can hope is that they continue to “comPete” like they always have, even if the pieces have changed.
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